April 11, 2007
Plans for a Hindu temple in one of Chandler’s few
horse-property neighborhoods are upsetting some
The subdivision of milliondollar homes built on
singleacre lots near Dobson and Galveston roads has
been a residential neighborhood since 1929, said
resident Thomas Hornyan.
“It’s been one of the unique points in the city and
this will damage that,” Hornyan said Tuesday during a
neighborhood meeting held by members of the Sri
Venkata Krishna congregation.
The congregation has begun applying for a use permit
to build a 7,500 square-foot religious and cultural
center. It will resemble a 12th-century Hindu temple
in Udupi, India, and will provide the 30-40 family
congregation with its first official home.
The temple will feature a prayer hall, dining area,
kitchen, classroom and living areas for priests. Two
priests and a facility manager will live there
full-time, though space will be reserved for the
faith’s pontiff when he visits from India.
Of the more than 60 people who turned out for
Tuesday’s meeting, more than half appeared opposed to
the project. Many said they’re against any
non-residential project in their neighborhood.
Congregation member Raghu Nanden said he was surprised
by the crowd’s reaction.
“I think they’re overreacting,” he said. “They seem to
think this will be a large church, but we’re only 30
Speakers explained that temple services do not operate
as many Christian churches do, where scheduled
services attract large amounts of people. A regular
service often attracts 10 people or less. But that
could increase to up to 200 families during the
half-dozen special festival days scheduled each year.
If the developer pushes forward, the project will be
set for a public hearing before the city’s Planning
and Zoning Commission.